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60 Minutes on CNBC

Home Wrecker News/Business. (2013) High foreclosure rates and mortgage debt threatens Americas neighborhoods.

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Cleveland 10, Brevard 9, Us 7, America 5, Florida 5, Cialis 4, Linda Bizzelle 4, Cuyahoga 4, Jim Rokakis 3, Lou Hanna 3, Joe Carbone 3, Scott Pelley 3, Carbone 3, Frank O'neill 3, Nasa 2, Hertz 2, Cisco 2, Unitedhealthcare 2, Geico 2, Norma Scott 2,
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  CNBC    60 Minutes on CNBC    Home Wrecker  News/Business.  (2013) High foreclosure  
   rates and mortgage debt threatens Americas neighborhoods.  

    March 25, 2013
    8:00 - 9:00pm EDT  

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it's just another way you'll be traveling at the speed of hertz. [ticking] >> one of the threats from the great recession was the sudden surge in the number of abandoned houses. vacant homes have become so ruinous to some neighborhoods that one city, cleveland, decided it had to find a solution. perfectly good homes... once worth $75,000 and $100,000 or more...
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are being ripped to splinters in cleveland. [ticking] the new manned space program rocket was supposed to be called constellation. >> mm-hmm. >> and now you guys call it-- >> all: cancellation. >> unfortunately. >> they had been counting on a new space program in brevard county, florida, for years, but it didn't happen. >> and liftoff. the final liftoff of atlantis. >> and after the last space shuttle mission touched down... >> this is a matter of national pride. >> things around the kennedy space center changed in a way that may surprise you. [ticking] >> inside, you feel like a part of you has been ripped out from losing a job. >> 1/3 of the unemployed have been out of work for more than a year. it's been hard on them and the economy, but we found an experiment in retraining... [paper tears] >> the resume, very soon, will become an obsolete tool in the job-search process.
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>> that may just offer a way back. you just got a new job. >> yes, i did. brings a smile to my face. >> i see that. >> welcome to 60 minutes on cnbc. i'm bob simon. in this edition, we look at two innovative experiments in the housing and job markets aimed at solving long-term problems caused by the great recession. and later on, we examine the impact on brevard county, florida, of scuttling the space shuttle program. we begin with the housing industry. chances are the home you're in isn't worth what it used to be. you may not have indulged in the real estate bubble with its liars' loans and wall street greed, but you were stuck with the bill. and if you thought your home value couldn't drop any more, have a look up and down the block. you might say, "there goes the neighborhood." one of the threats from the great recession was the sudden surge in the number
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of abandoned houses. as scott pelley reported in december 2011, vacant homes become so ruinous in some neighborhoods that one city, cleveland, decided it had to find a solution. >> perfectly good homes... worth $75,000, $100,000 or more a couple of years ago... are being ripped to splinters in cleveland, cuyahoga county, ohio. here, the great recession left 1/5 of all houses vacant. the owners walked away because they couldn't or wouldn't keep paying on a mortgage debt that can be twice the value of the home. cleveland waited four years for home values to recover, but in 2011, they decided to face facts and bury the dead. why destroy them? jim rokakis, a former county treasurer, showed us.
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>> we're looking at a neighborhood that has almost as many vacant houses awaiting demolition as there are houses with people living in them. we have one here. one here. one there. >> rokakis is leading the effort to tear down thousands of abandoned homes because they're rotting their neighborhoods from the inside out. it often starts, he told us, when a vacant house becomes an open house to thieves. it's a nice house from the roof to about here. and then down here, it's been ripped to pieces. what's going on? >> well, this is typical, because this is as high as they could reach without using ladders. they've ripped off the aluminum siding, which you'll see on most of these houses. the aluminum and the vinyl siding comes off. it's getting about a buck a pound. >> essentially, foreclosure scavengers have been through here. >> the thieves have gone high-tech. they know when evictions are occurring 'cause they're posted online. and they will follow the sheriff. they're usually there that afternoon or that evening. so in here, what you're gonna see--
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well, i guess they took everything, including the proverbial kitchen sink, right? the sink is gone. the plumbing is gone in this house. all the copper, anything metal that had value is gone. the furnace is gone. >> the light fixture... >> light fixture came out-- >> is gone. how often is this happening in cleveland? >> this happens every day. and the foreclosure crisis creates this spiral, because as a result of this, people are now more likely to leave neighborhoods like this, and as they leave, the scavengers come in and do the same thing to the house next door or across the street. >> to make the house next door worth more instead of less, vacant land created by demolition is often given to the neighbors and sometimes turned into fields or gardens. cleveland and cuyahoga county believe that only by turning the failures of the great recession into green space can they stabilize the value of what's left. otherwise, the scourge would keep spreading. when you see a house that the scavengers have torn apart
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like this one, what does it do to the guy next door? >> it clearly makes his house worth a lot less money, because when you've got four, five, six vacant houses on a street like this, your house isn't worth a percentage less; it's just worthless. >> it's probably worth about $30. [laughs] i mean, seriously. who knows? it's sad. it's really sad. >> roberta bryant lives at the end of the street in a house made essentially worthless by her vacant neighbors. do you think, in this neighborhood, you could even sell this house if you wanted to? >> no. i don't think anybody would buy it. are you interested? [laughs] >> i don't live in cleveland. >> well, this could be your summer home. >> in theory, there shouldn't be this many abandoned houses. when homeowners walk away, the bank is supposed to take responsibility. but one little-known feature of the great recession is that many banks are walking away too, unwilling to maintain a house
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whose value has crashed. >> very often a bank will take a property to the point of foreclosure but won't go to sheriff's sale, 'cause they don't want that property. they don't want the responsibility, the $8,000 to $10,000 bill that comes with tearing this house down. >> former county treasurer jim rokakis says some banks have turned their backs on a blight they created. >> well, in a normal real estate market, people are out looking for loans. in the perverse real estate market we created in this country, you know, during the period--2000, 2006-- this wasn't people looking for money; this was money looking for people. and that's why so many of those loans were made without down payments and without verification of income, and i might also add, phony appraisals. >> and this is the result. >> this is the result. and it's not just here. it's all over america. [ticking] >> coming up, looking for a bank bailout. >> you're gonna have to write down principal balances, because if you don't write down the principal to something that's more realistic,
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it just guarantees that more people will walk away and more people will default. >> banks and the foreclosure crisis when 60 minutes on cnbc returns. [ticking] she's still the one for you -
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[ticking] >> all over america, 11 million homeowners owe more than their house is worth. they're said to be underwater. and the truth is, more neighborhoods would collapse
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if it weren't for people like linda bizzelle, who refuses to walk away from her mortgage even though it might be best. >> the mortgage company called me and said that i was getting ready to go into foreclosure. so i mailed a payment in that day, and it was the last of my savings. >> that you sent in on this mortgage that's underwater? >> oh, yeah. >> her house is worth $50,000, and she owes $100,000. a financial planner might tell her to put something away for retirement rather than pay a mortgage that will never recover, especially since she lost her job in nursing. what have you been cutting back on? >> sometimes food. i would go to the food bank in order to make up the difference so that i wouldn't be completely hungry. sometimes i wouldn't get my medications renewed. i take medication for high blood pressure. and my doctor could always tell when i didn't take them, and he said, "oh, no.
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you can't do that. no, no." >> you're living on unemployment right now? >> yes. >> what about the next mortgage payment? >> i'm gonna pray. that's the best i can do. i'm gonna pray that i find a job. >> when you think of it, her neighbors' home values are being propped up by linda bizzelle's fragile grip on the american dream. we found a lot of people spending their last dollar to keep their homes and therefore save their neighborhood. gina bruno owes $50,000 more than her home is worth, and her dream house has turned into a money pit. >> the gas line needed to be replaced. the sewer line needed to be replaced. the plumbing was bad. the roof was leaking. >> do you have any savings? >> no. no. no. >> so you're living paycheck to paycheck? >> absolutely. >> writing checks to the contractors and to the bank. >> yep. i used to go out with friends and have dinner, and i just--
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i don't do any of those things anymore. >> a few miles away, beverly anderson and her neighbors are the only thing standing between their neighborhood and utter ruin. for them, paying the mortgage is a matter of principle. >> that's just how i was raised. once you, you know-- you sign it, it's a contract. you uphold what you can for as long as you can. >> these folks bought the first homes in what was supposed to be a 100-house development outside cleveland called cinema park. but the developer went broke in the recession, leaving just six occupied homes surrounded by empty acres, roads to nowhere, and fireplugs with nothing to protect. >> immediately when the boards went up, all of our mortgages went underwater-- our hopes, our dreams, our savings. >> norma scott's predicament is typical around this table.
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$200,000 mortgage, $100,000 house. still, all but one of these neighbors plan to keep on paying, including high school teacher monica hubbard. >> because i signed on the line. i made a promise. i made a commitment, and i can still afford it, basically. >> you know, there are lots of people all over the country, many thousands of people who are mailing the keys to the bank and walking away. they can't figure out how it makes sense to put more money into a mortgage that's underwater. >> can't speak for them. i can only speak for me. and my reputation that i have to uphold. >> your signature means something. >> it does. it does. >> norma scott is the only one throwing in the towel. she stopped paying her mortgage when she got breast cancer and had to stop working for a while. >> i made the mortgage payments for as long as i could. and then the money just ran out.
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>> and then they sent you a letter last christmas eve. >> yes, and foreclosed on my property. >> it seems to me that you're living day-to-day, waiting for a telephone call or a letter from the sheriff. >> from the sheriff. >> the cuyahoga county sheriff is doing 50 evictions a month. >> mr. waple. okay, unfortunately, you know why we're here. the eviction? >> chris waple owned a restaurant, but when it went under, he couldn't make his mortgage payments, and so waple and his family were evicted from the house that he'd lived in for 23 years. he'd raised five children here. that was more than three months ago that chris waple left this house, and it's still vacant. there's not a "for sale" sign in front of it, because the realtors tell us that if there are too many "for sale" signs in one block, it makes everything harder to sell. just four doors down, graham jarvis learned that the hard way. his house has been on the market six months, but only six people
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have taken a look. next door, jennifer wylie has seen the value of her home drop 50%. you can't see it in this neighborhood because they're keeping up appearances, but 1/4 of the houses here have been emptied by foreclosure. and on this handsome block in well-to-do cleveland heights, at least four vacant homes are scheduled for demolition. former county treasurer jim rokakis says banks could stop the wrecking crews if they would only reduce the loan balances on underwater mortgages. >> you're gonna have to write down principal balances. because if you don't write down the principal to something that's more realistic, it just guarantees that more people will walk away and more people will default. >> look, you're asking the banks to write down the principal on these houses, to take losses in the millions if not billions of dollars. >> oh, hundreds of billions. >> why would they do that? >> aren't you better off-- oh, let's say on a $150,000 mortgage--
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preserving $75,000 in value as opposed to letting that house go vacant, possibly seeing the house vandalized and dropped to a value well below that? i mean, they helped to cause this mess. and it's not gonna fix itself without their cooperation. >> cuyahoga county ripped down 1,000 homes this year, and they have 20,000 more to go. that'll cost about $150 million. all that's keeping other neighborhoods from the same fate are those 11 million underwater homeowners like linda bizzelle who stubbornly refuse to walk away. >> i want to keep my home. you know, when you've worked all your life... to get the american dream,
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you don't want to just walk away. you don't want to do that. you do whatever it takes to keep what you have. >> in response to our story, 60 minutes viewers were so moved by linda bizzelle's story that their donations helped stop foreclosure proceedings on her home. and as of october 2012, she was still living in her house. [ticking] coming up, the space shuttle's hard landing. >> what did seeing the last shuttle launch mean to you? >> i felt anger. >> anger? >> oh, yeah. because this does not have to be the last launch. it doesn't have to end this way. i mean, it-- it just doesn't make any sense. it doesn't compute. >> and later, we look at the stigma of long-term unemployment.
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>> what have the last three years been like for you? >> you have those moments, you know, where you're the only one in the house, and you're sitting in front of the computer looking for a job, and you go, "when is this ever gonna break for me?" >> that's ahead when 60 minutes on cnbc returns. [ticking] i'm telling you right now, the girl back at home
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we stayed behind in brevard county, florida, the home of the kennedy space center. what comes after reaching for the stars? as scott pelley reported in april 2012, for many in brevard county, the answer was a hard landing. >> all three engines up and burning. >> there was nothing like it in the world. >> and liftoff. the final liftoff of atlantis. >> arguably the greatest engineering achievement of man. at liftoff, it weighed 4 1/2 million pounds, its top speed 17,000 miles an hour. >> the space shuttle spreads its wings one final time for the start of a sentimental journey into history. >> it was built by the hands of people like lou hanna. >> it was the experience and the job of a lifetime. i was working on the pad one day with a friend of mine, and he's a crane operator too.
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and i ask him--i said... "how many other crane operators do you suppose that there are doing what we're doing? there's two--you and me." >> shuttle work wasn't just work. there was enormous pride in doing for america what no other workers in the world could even dare. lou hanna manned a gigantic crane that cleared the platform before launch. he worked on the first shuttle in 1981... >> america's first space shuttle. >> and the last, 135 missions later. what did seeing the last shuttle launch mean to you? >> i felt anger. >> anger? >> oh, yeah. because this does not have to be the last launch. it doesn't have to end this way.
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i mean, it-- it just doesn't make any sense. it doesn't compute. and i guess i'm still in denial, because i'm thinking they're gonna call me back one day. "we got a launch coming up. we need your help." how can they do that? >> they did it to save $3 billion a year. at the kennedy space center, 7,000 workers lost their jobs. >> main gear touchdown. the space shuttle pulls into port for the last time. >> 50 years of liftoffs are becoming 8 months of layoffs. have a look around brevard county. it's shrinking. lots of people are moving away, taking businesses down with them. >> it was like, bam, gone. gone. gone. >> the work ethic that built the shuttle keeps chris milner fighting to hang on. >> how long did you work at the space center? >> eight years. >> and your wife? >> 29 years. >> both laid off? >> both laid off.
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>> in the spirit of an entrepreneur, milner planned for the layoffs. he launched a landscape business on the side, and then he added a sign shop in this industrial park. still, there was one thing he didn't plan on. >> seafood--it's gone. yeah, there's nothing there. edwards exterminating is the only one that's left. it's right around the corner. but basically, everything's empty. it's a nightmare. everybody that's been laid off-- it's a ripple effect. businesses closing down-- it affects everybody else, and it affects me. >> the 7,000 layoffs at the space center triggered 7,000 more in the community. unemployment has been close to 11%. >> people are moving away. people are going up north. nothing's happening here. i know people that moved all the way to seattle for a job. left their house. left the key in the front door. "here you go." it's gone. >> milner had 12 employees
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in the lawn business. now he has 3. you know, you're running these two businesses. >> yes. >> how many hours a day are you working? >> literally? >> literally. >> i'm here at 7:00 a.m. in the morning. and in the last couple weeks, i've been here until 1:00, 2:00 in the morning. my last day off was christmas. >> working 17 hours a day 7 days a week can't be all that good for your health. >> no. my wife's worried. she's scared. she's told me that. >> and she's taken out a life insurance policy on him. >> but at the same time, she knows what i got to do. and the problem is, is we have a 12-year-old at the house that doesn't understand, 'cause he's never had to go without. he's constantly asking for mcdonald's. we don't get mcdonald's anymore. [ticking] >> coming up, confronting the new financial frontier. >> well, we were lied to when obama came through. gave us a lot of hope and supposedly a lot of change.
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well, i've got change in my pocket, but the hope is gone. >> that's ahead when 60 minutes on cnbc returns. [ticking] [ female announcer ] what if the next big thing, isn't a thing at all? it's lots of things. all waking up. connecting to the global phenomenon we call the internet of everything. ♪ it's going to be amazing. and exciting. and maybe, most remarkably, not that far away. we're going to wake the world up. and watch, with eyes wide, as it gets to work. cisco. tomorrow starts here. cisco. i've always had to keep my eye on her...
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[ticking] >> that's beautiful. >> this wasn't the first hard landing on the space coast. there were big layoffs in 1972 after the last mission to the moon. but here's why it's worse 40 years later. when we left the moon, nasa was already years into designing the shuttle, and it looked like it would be that way now because president bush approved a program to follow the shuttle. the new manned space program rocket was supposed to be called constellation. >> mm-hmm. >> and now you guys call it--
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>> all: cancellation. >> unfortunately. >> lou hanna and joe urich, holly petrucci, and mike carpenter planned to transfer from shuttle to constellation. they were encouraged when candidate barack obama came to brevard county in 2008, three months before the election. >> i'm gonna ensure that our space program doesn't suffer when the shuttle goes out of service by making sure that all those who work in the space industry in florida do not lose their jobs when the shuttle is retired, because we can't afford to lose their expertise. >> well, we were lied to when obama came through. gave us a lot of hope and supposedly a lot of change. well, i've got change in my pocket, but the hope is gone. >> in 2010, president obama cancelled constellation and turned over development of a new spaceship to private enterprise. then congress dealt another blow by cutting the funding for the obama plan in half. now the workers with that
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expertise mr. obama referred to are setting course for carole bess. >> and i've had several who've told me, "i was considering suicide before i came to you." >> carole bess is a bankruptcy attorney. what drove them to that point? >> they felt like failures. you know, "here i am. i can't pay my debts. and i'm probably worth more dead than alive if i have life insurance." >> and folks either aren't finding work or, if they do, they're making a lot less than they were before. >> correct. and that's not gonna change. these people have no hope. it could still get a lot worse, i think. >> following the great recession, we visited a lot of communities that lost their main employer but never one like brevard county. we learned about the sense of loss with our first question to lucas maxwell, who used to handle the dangerous fuel for the rockets. what was it like when it was launched? paint that picture for me. >> awesome.
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i--excuse me. no. >> the thought was too much for a moment. then he came back to tell us why. >> made your heart stop. it's awesome no matter what, you know, the pride that goes into a vehicle like that. but i knew it was the end too. you know, i knew i was gonna be out on the street. >> and space shuttle, for you, i have the sense was a statement about the country. >> oh, yeah, absolutely. this is a matter of national pride. >> the end of the shuttle is threatening businesses that families have built over decades, like shuttles, the first bar you come to leaving the space center. not just a bar, really-- it's the place where astronauts land. before the last launch, we stopped in to the see owner bill grillo. how many employees did you have at the peak? >> well, we had 25. >> and now? >> we're down to 8.
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>> and you're one of them. >> yeah. if it comes down to just myself and my son and the cook, we'll hang on. shuttles will be here. i won't let it go. >> but seven months later, shuttles looked like this. i'm sorry about this. when we were here before, you were optimistic. you said this place wouldn't close. >> yeah. within 45 days after the last shuttle, we lost 70% of our business. we weren't able to sustain. as much as it killed me to do that, i had to. >> and you've been gone for a couple of months now, but i don't think you've moved a thing in here. >> i can't right now. it's--it's too painful to do that. i got a lot of-- a lot of my heart is here, and i can't take anything off the walls yet. >> it's not just a business. >> no.
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no. this is an institution. and i don't want to be the one that takes it apart. >> no one we met expected to be the one to take apart the life they'd known. some were the second or third generation in their family to work at the space center. before the last launch, we met several at a job center applying for the remaining aerospace work. sammy rivera worked on the shuttle 26 years, reviewing engineering drawings. >> well, i figure, the day i wake up dead, i won't go to work. that's the bottom line. there's not gonna be anything for me to retire on. >> you didn't expect to be unemployed 11 months and counting. >> at the max, i figured 3 months. i've applied for engineering jobs. i've applied for technician jobs. i've applied for entry-level jobs.
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>> have you had any interviews? >> three. >> total of three? >> total of three. >> three interviews in 11 months? >> yes, sir. >> do you have health insurance? >> no, sir. no, sir. my health insurance terminated on my last day of employment. >> how are you getting along? >> a lot of prayer. the medications that i was on-- out-of-pocket expense runs me over $800 a month. with no money coming in, i can't afford that. >> so he's taking only one of the two pills that his doctors say he has to take to avoid a heart attack. you know when you're raising that flag in your front yard? >> yes, sir. >> what are you thinking? >> this is my country. and i can't let it go down without a fight.
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>> the four remaining shuttles are headed to museums. atlantis will be on display at the kennedy space center. she was designed for 100 missions but flew only 33. like so many in brevard county, florida, she was pulled from the service of her country long before she was ready. >> since our story first aired, job losses from the mothballing of the shuttle program continue to hit brevard county. in september 2012, united space alliance, a major shuttle contractor, reduced its workforce by 6%, including 121 jobs at the kennedy space center. those cuts saw usa's florida-based labor force dropped to 1,073 employees, down from about 5,000 at the start of 2010. [ticking] coming up, the stigma
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of long-term unemployment. >> did you ever have the sense that you and others were being discriminated against because of how long you'd been unemployed? >> there's no doubt. i mean, i've seen it in print. whether it's some newspaper ads or online during those types of advertisements, i've actually seen, "if you are unemployed, you need not apply." >> trapped in unemployment when 60 minutes on cnbc returns. [ticking] [ male announcer ] this is george.
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[ticking] >> there's something stubborn about unemployment. not since the great depression has the length of joblessness been as long as it's been in the wake of the great recession. by late 2011, nearly 4 million people, almost 1/3 of the unemployed, had been out of work for more than a year. to understand what was happening, in february 2012, scott pelley went to stamford, connecticut, to see an experiment that might just offer a way back for americans trapped in unemployment. >> they started to go through round after round of layoffs, and i got caught in one of the layoffs there. >> the great recession arrived early for frank o'neill. >> it was a cold day in february. >> it was february 2008.
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o'neill was a credit consultant for an i.t. company. what happened? >> they called me into the vice president's office, and he basically told me that they were having some financial difficulty and told me that my last day was gonna be that day. i got a small little severance out of it and was off into the world of the unemployed. >> what have the last three years been like for you? >> you have those moments, you know, where you're the only one in the house, and you're sitting in front of the computer looking for a job, and you go, "when is this ever gonna break for me?" >> how many people signed up for unemployment? everybody. no one we met in stamford expected to be out of work this long. how many have run to the end of the unemployment benefits? everyone. those unemployment benefits end after 99 weeks. these folks have been out of work two years, three, even four. they're college-educated
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professionals in their 40s or 50s, people who thought their company would take them all the way to retirement. vernon? >> i was very angry. i was very bitter. i was fed up with society, the corporate world, the lies, deceit, the greed. >> they don't look it, but they have fallen out of the middle class, turned in cars, gone on food stamps, taken kids out of college, and faced foreclosure. now, they've pinned their last hopes on joe carbone. >> the word "carnage" is a strong word, but i can't think of a better word in this case. and i-- what aggravates me is that there isn't outrage. we ought to be angry. we ought to be giving every moment of our time figuring out how we're gonna restore for them the american dream. >> joe carbone is president of something called the workplace. it's the state unemployment office in southwest connecticut
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where people get job training and placement help. carbone has a reputation for innovative job programs, but he has never seen so many people out of work so long. >> there is no comparison to being unemployed for six months and being unemployed for 99 weeks. your needs change in a drastic way. >> and what is the change? >> the change is the mind. that two years of unemployment erodes your self-confidence, your self-esteem. it separates you from your profession, your education, whatever you might have done previously. there's all sorts of things. it causes divorces. it causes problems with children. >> what's insidious is how hidden these people are. carbone's territory has some of the richest towns in the nation. the commuter lines are arteries to the heart of corporate power in new york, but a lot of people walking around in suits haven't had a job in years.
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>> my job is to get people into a career. >> carbone has more than 12,000 who have spent their last unemployment check with nowhere to go. >> i can't tell you how this bothers me. i can't tell you what this has done to me. it's not just the numbers. it's--scott, it's the stories that you've heard. >> inside, you feel like a part of you has been ripped out from losing a job. >> this is how joe carbone intends to restore their american dream. he calls it platform to employment. it's a half-million-dollar program that he raised the money for from businesses and charities. we went along for five weeks as a class of 28 learned how to claw their way back to employment. >> i was so ashamed to reach out for help because i felt discouraged. i felt ashamed that i had failed. >> vernon downes was a project manager for a company that made medical devices. he's been working to find a job for 2 1/2 years. >> i've done everything that i was told to do--
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the education, the certification-- and i still couldn't get a job. >> he's on food stamps, found work with a landscape company, and was glad to get it. >> so then i said, "okay, if i have to do leaf-blowing to get some sort of an income, i'm willing to do that," and that's what i'm doing, and that's how i get by day-to-day. [ticking] >> coming up, the shock of being offered a job. >> manager called me. you know, he gave me the brief details. "we'd like to have you onboard. like to start monday." and i really froze on the phone. >> platform to employment success stories when 60 minutes on cnbc returns. [ticking] [ kitt ] you know what's impressive?
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[ticking] >> did any of you wonder whether you were the only one? >> yeah. >> absolutely. >> absolutely. >> it was a very isolating experience for me. >> diane graham was an executive assistant. for three years, she's been scraping together part-time work, but she's on food stamps, and she had to move in with her sister. >> i was possibly looking at homelessness. so i was terrified. >> our goal, objective of platform to employment, p2e, is to reconnect you to the workforce. >> they're in class four days a week, and the very first thing they learned was to confront their fears and depression. >> for me, it's been just debilitating fear that i won't be able to take care of myself. >> the resume. [paper tears] the resume, very soon, will become an obsolete tool in the job-search process. >> they were introduced to how much has changed since the last time they got a job.
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>> when they're considering hiring you for a job, they're going to go to the internet and see what comes up. if you have nothing that shows up, you're not relevant. >> frank o'neill. >> they practiced job interviews. >> i'm noticing a gap, frank. it's looking really good up until about 2008, so could you give me a little explanation about what happened there? >> and they learned to navigate the new bias, the unspoken reason they've been turned down again and again. did you ever have the sense that you and others were being discriminated against because of how long you'd been unemployed? >> there's no doubt. i mean, i've seen it in print. whether it's some newspaper ads or online during those types of advertisements. i've actually seen, "if you are unemployed, you need not apply." >> just look at the web. you see the phrase everywhere: "must be currently employed."
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businesses can't legally discriminate by age, race, or sex, but there's a new minority group now: the long-term unemployed. everybody knows we're in a terrible state in this country. why would a stigma attach to being unemployed for a year or two or three? >> i mean, there's a sense that if a person's out of work for a year or longer, they might be lazy. they might very well be people that would prefer to be home. or they've lost too much already to be useful to me. it's unfair, and it's wrong. >> you can use the search bar on facebook. >> platform to employment was a little like boot camp. >> there's hundreds of social media sites, but linkedin-- it's the number one for anything professional. >> managing director. >> yes. >> and over time, we saw something new: confidence. >> what the program has done for me--it brought vernon back. i know who i am. i know this is the vernon
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that i know. that other person for the past-- post-2009-- i didn't know who that was. so i'm back. i'm back in the game. >> i was so prideful and so stubborn that i would not apply for part-time positions. i wasn't gonna go work at the grocery store nearby. i wasn't gonna go flip burgers. i have a college education. i've been successful at work. i've been working for 30 years. i'm not doing this. so when this opportunity for platform to employment came along, i joined it, and it changed my mindset. >> after the classes are over, platform to employment opens the door on its biggest innovation. it's an internship with a business that's looking to hire. tell me what that first day was like, walking through the door. >> it was nice to be a part of the workforce, having to go to work in the morning rather than get up in the morning and go look for work.
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>> here, the office intern isn't a college student; he's 50-something, educated and experienced. for eight weeks, frank o'neill would work at cain management, which owns fast-food restaurants. platform to employment pays o'neill's salary. what do you have to prove, and how do you think that's gonna work out? >> they told me right off the bat. "we have a job. and it's got to get done. and you need to prove yourself that you're the person who can get this job done for us." >> fair enough. >> absolutely. all we're looking for is an opportunity. >> 100 people are enrolled in platform to employment, and after five months, 53 have jobs. vernon downes found work in his field, information technology, at a company called career resources. diane graham got a call. after three years of hearing "no," she didn't know how to respond to "yes." >> manager called me.

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